Women: Here’s How to Overcome Retirement Challenges

April 15, 2024

Juggling a career, caring for your family and other responsibilities can put you in a position of financial disadvantage when it’s time to retire.

Maybe you chose to stay home with your children, giving you less of an opportunity to accrue the same amount of savings as your husband.

Perhaps you hit a glass ceiling at work and your income didn’t grow as it should have.

Maybe you weren’t savvy about investing in retirement.

Unfortunately, women have a unique set of challenges for a variety of reasons.

1) Longevity

Women tend to live longer than men. With a common age difference between spouses being about two years, you could be looking at four years – or more – of existing financially on your own in your final years.

2) Income differences over time

Women and men still make different wages for the same job, typically only 82 cents on the dollar. Over the course of a married couple’s working years, the result is a markedly lower amount of income earned by the female partner.

3) Insufficient retirement savings

Lower earnings over the course of a lifetime will obviously culminate in lower savings. The gender wage gap plays a part in this, but it’s also proportional to the time taken off to care for your family if applicable.

4) Lower Social Security payouts

Of course, if you’ve worked fewer years, your Social Security earned will be lower, too.

In addition, the cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security aren’t increasing at the same pace as the cost of health care, creating a significant retirement challenge.

5) Increased divorce rates over age 50

Adults aged 65 and older are the only age group whose divorce rate continues to rise, according to the National Library of Medicine.

A woman who has spent a significant number of years out of the workforce is at a financial disadvantage when she goes through a divorce at a later age.

6) Death of a spouse

In some families, the husband is the one who does financial planning. When he passes away, the wife can be left in the dark as to how her monetary needs will be met. Staying apprised of the family financials could help avoid this problem.

7) Scarcity of job opportunities

As you draw closer to the age at which you’re thinking about retirement, the opportunities for employment are sparse. This can be a real issue if you need to supplement your income or support yourself.

8) Health care is expensive

Health care is the largest expenditure in retirement.

Consider this statistic: More than half of Americans turning 65 will need long-term care services at some point, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What can make this such a hardship for you as a woman isn’t that you’re likely to be sick more often, but that you may live longer. Before you’re left on your own, you could exhaust your savings on the end-of-life care your partner needs. The reality is, you’re likely to outlive your savings.

UROne Benefits™ is here to help

Having a plan is imperative.

If you’re in the pre-retirement stage of life, there is still time to make a financial plan that will see you through retirement with a reasonable level of financial security.

A health insurance expert can act as a knowledgeable guide to help you create a strategy for the future that will provide economic stability and overcome retirement challenges. They can also help you navigate the health care system and choose the necessary coverage for your retirement years.

Contact UROne Benefits™ to ensure you’re making the right moves for an easy and enjoyable retirement. Contact us here or at 800-722-7331.

This post was originally published in April 2019; updated April 2024.